Jack Doohan is not daunted by talk of a Formula 1 promotion with the Alpine team, adamant it is inspiring him to work even harder with one round remaining in the Formula 2 series.
Formula 1’s silly season went into overdrive when Sebastian Vettel announced he’d be leaving the sport at the end of this season, his Aston Martin seat going to Fernando Alonso.
That left Alpine a driver short, the team scrambling for a replacement as they had initially thought they’d be retaining the Spaniard for a further season.
When that fell apart, Oscar Piastri was next in line only for him to sign with McLaren, prompting Alpine to put together a three-day trial at the Hungaroring.
Antonio Giovinazzi was behind the wheel of a 2021 Alpine F1 car on Tuesday with Italian GP debutant Nyck de Vries in action on Wednesday before Doohan gets his chance on Thursday.
Some reports claim Doohan is the favourite for the Alpine seat especially with De Vries speaking with AlphaTauri, but the Aussie says he’s trying not to be too involved in the talks, instead focusing on what he needs to do on the track.
“Obviously it’s a good time to perform, but all the times are a good time to perform, regardless of what’s going on,” he said as per Motorsport.com.
“There’s obviously a lot going on and I’m trying not to get too involved to be honest, I’m trying to stay focused on what I can control and that’s my car, my team and outside of that is to be honest not a worry at the moment.
“I’m just going to try and put in good results, good performances and show what we can do.
“At the end of the day, at the end of the year, we’ll see what happens, but I’m loving Formula 2 at the moment.”
Overall Formula 2 podium still on the cards
With one round remaining in the Formula 2 season, the 19-year-old can still finish third in the Drivers’ standings as he trails another F1 hopeful, Logan Sargeant, by nine points.
“To be honest, I’m happy with it, because there’s obviously talk and obviously I want to do well, for sure,” he said as per Motorsport.com.
“I know it’s there, so for me it’s motivation to work hard. Not that I wasn’t working hard, but to almost know I need to show my maturity, I need to show my head and I need to show that I’m capable of putting myself together.
“If it’s not P1, it’s taking P4 with a car that can take P4, and I’m not really under any pressure so I can just enjoy what I’m doing, and I love this.
“So being able to extract my potential and really enjoy this moment and this time.”
Alpine vow to support Doohan ‘into the future’
Alpine have yet to promote one of their youngsters into Formula 1, the closest being Zhou Guanyu who stepped up with Alfa Romeo after breaking ties with the Enstone team.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer was recently asked if perhaps Alpine needed a rethink about their approach to their junior teams such as Doohan.
“Yeah, we’ll continue to support Jack, who’s doing a great job, especially of late. He is doing well,” he said.
“And we will continue to support him into the future. And we’ve got a few other youngsters coming through as well.”